HARARE – Zimbabweans have gone through a lot recently — cash crisis at banks, a flopped State-organised May Day rally at Rufaro Stadium, the Environment minister’s ban on quail bird-rearing and, of course, the mandatory national pledge in schools despite resistance from different quarters — among other distressing developments.
In addition to this, the citizenry has also helplessly witnessed the ugly and unending infighting in President Robert Mugabe’s governing Zanu PF, which has almost brought government business to a halt, let alone civil servants waiting for months on end to get their meagre 2015 bonuses.
It is really sad for ordinary Zimbabweans to go through this hell, considering what Mugabe and crew promised the nation, under their much-crowed about Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social and Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) economic blueprint, three years back in 2013.
Surely, Zimbabweans do not want to survive on rearing quail birds.
These are desperate measures in an economy where there are literally no employment opportunities.
Neither do they have time to attend the so-called Workers’ Day in a country where thousands have lost employment in the past three years alone. Besides, they cannot afford to waste a single day as vending is an everyday hustle.
And, of course, the bizarre national pledge, which is so divorced from the solutions needed to address the challenges bedevilling the country’s education sector — under-staffed schools, derelict infrastructure, poorly remunerated teachers, lack of basic text books and a high teacher-student ratio, to mention a few.
All this goes to show that Mugabe’s administration has failed.
And Zimbabweans must never lose focus on this. They should not be swayed and fooled by the nonagenarian’s continued empty promises.
In 2013, the 92-year-old leader promised to create 2, 2 million jobs, unlock billions of dollars in minerals value and build 310 public schools and 300 clinics under ZimAsset, among others which have remained pie in the sky.
Hundreds of companies have shut down, as industry and corporates buckle under immense economic pressure. Ironically, the system has become more heavy-handed, quashing any sources of subsistence income for the ordinary poor — banning second-hand clothes trading and the quail birds projects.
Zimbabweans are now worse off than they were in the last election in 2013.
We certainly agree, and hopefully Mugabe cronies do, that second-hand clothes trading and the controversial quail birds trading are not the solutions to the populace’s problems. Neither will banning the activities provide any.
Zimbabwe urgently needs pragmatic policies. This certainly involves a
change of approach and attitude by Mugabe and team. You cannot keep up the sanctions and Western countries sabotage mantra. Zimbabweans aren’t fools. Stop it.